Author Archives: Phil Bateman

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About Phil Bateman

Phil Bateman is Married to Mary and lives in Wednesfield North. He was a long serving local politician having served previously on the now defunct West Midlands County Council... read more

Delivering Our City-Our Plan, through Wednesfield North Ward Funds


Wednesfield North City Councillors said today “We have helped deliver fun and enjoyment for hundreds of our residents, even thousands over the last few years. We do our best to ensure that modest resources provided by the City Council help our community across a wide range of policy areas, and is very much part of delivering a better Wednesfield, in line with the City Councils own plan ‘Our City – Our Plan’.

More than £30,000 have been distributed by Wednesfield North Councillors to good causes, volunteer groups, and charities since 2021 here in Wednesfield and across Wednesfield North. All these funds have helped support the City of Wolverhampton’s own ‘Our City – Our Plan’ policies. This policy document is a key component of the Councils policy framework. In short, we are doing locally what the plan determines. Which is to align with the priorities and the needs of local people. Its about increasing economic prosperity, improving outcomes for local people, and tackling inequalities, whilst addressing other challenges like Net Zero. As we work hard to bring communities together.

Our Ward resources have been used and allocated to organisations as wide spread as Local Food Banks, through to education support for local schools in our Ward.
We have supported all sorts of community groups like the Wednesfield History Society, who organise to protect and record our unique past. We donated support for the Wednesfield Lancaster Bomber Crash Memorial on the Lichfield Road commemorating the brave flyers who lost their lives at that location in 1945. We also donated and supported the internationally recognised ‘Battle of Saragarhi Memorial’, which some military historians describe as one of history’s great last stands.

We encourage the Arts and recently assisted with funding for Ashmore Park Choir. As well as funding digital maps for the Wednesfield Art Trail.
We have found resources working in partnership with Ashmore Park Community Association, for a local Youth Club based at The Hub. We have assisted in resources for three Defibrillators set across and serving the public in our Ward of Wednesfield North.
Your Councillors have also assisted Caring Hearts and St Albans Church with funding for making their roof waterproof.

Wednesfield North Councillors are all about helping residents deliver fun and enjoyment in Wednesfied North, for children and families. We use our close working relationships, to full advantage. We have helped organisations and volunteers find resources to help fund the Ashmore Park Uniform Exchange, Wednesfield North Community Excellence Awards, and the ever popular free ‘Stuff4Steph’ Fundays held on the Moat, on the Ashmore Park Shopping Parade.
We have funded the capital for three Remembrance Benches one in the Ashmore Park, one on the Coppice Farm Walkways serving Public Open Space, and one at the front of the Hub at Ashmore Park. All three much used items have all been funded by Ward resources. We have also help fund a Christmas Toy Appeals, and furnished Christmas Lights on Ashmore Park Shopping Parade.

We continue to support the Wednesfield Canal Festival, as they put on bigger community events based on the Wyrley and Essington Canal. Last year (2023) that event alone drew 10,000 visitors into Wednesfield, and there were two days of live music, a ‘Floating Market, with Narrow Boat Traders, a fun fair, local craft stalls, all meaning enjoyment, and good experiences for our local residents and local families.

The Environment isn’t forgotten. We have helped resource two bins one on Open Space on the Linthouse Lane estate, one on Kitchen Lane, at The Nicket which links with Essington. So that dog walkers can place their doggie doo’s safely for collection.

We are really proud of our local people, who give their time freely to improve the local environment. Wednesfield in Bloom volunteers are known locally as ‘The Bloomers’! Wednesfield in Bloom have been excellent in turning grey into green. They have been so successful in changing Wednesfield into a colour vibrant Village, bathed in natural colours bringing much satisfaction to residents and supporting the local economy. We have made resources available to their organisation in their endeavours.

Our actions provided assistance with resources for the volunteers of Hands on Wednesfield, to purchase Public Liability Insurance for that organisation, helps other groups and volunteers in Wednesfield put on public events.

Our latest support is for the Richie Tanner ‘Make a difference campaign’. This campaign group has been formed to assist local adults living with cerebral palsy, and those with similar disabilities. Giving them the ability to make friends, chat and meet together to discuss issues of importance to their group.

Our aims as Wednesfield North City Councillors, is much like Richie Tanner own aims which is all about – ‘Making a difference, and delivering a better Wednesfield.’
END

Joe Bateman- Bateman Family History

Family History is a useful and enjoyable pastime. Many of us are involved in the enjoyment of uncovering the pastimes, the trades and the local history of our families. I have been involved for years in uncovering the links.
Last night whilst I was looking at some old birth certificates, i noticed that my dad, who was born in 1913 lived at 42 Alma Street in Heath Town at his birth. I also noticed that his father my Grandfather Joseph Bateman is described on his birth certificate as a ‘Blacksmith and Licenced Victualler.”.
Closer investigation throws up that 42 Alma Street was in actual fact The Royal Oak Public House. Question now is at that time was grandfather Joe the Licenced Victualler at The Royal Oak in 1913?….more to do.

Fly-Tipping and Other Issues Sandy Crescent

Back in November I received information from residents in Sandy Crescent regarding a largely redundant Garage Site, when during the night some unsavoury practices had been allegedly taking place.

I contacted the Authorities because it was suggested that a bollard be erected to keep the vehicles and Fly-Tippers away, and those using the car park in the night for other unwanted activities.

The enquiry was ref T11784.

The Fly-Tipping had been removed but the bollard had not been erected. I have been in constant touch with the authorities. The argument is being made that this is a Public Right of Way and The City Council has a responsibility and it was not just a Wolverhampton Homes decision.

I now have another reference Number T11978

Since the original intervention I made there has been a debate taking place within the Authority, because there is an additional issue of access for the National Grid, and their access arrangements for the Electricity -Sub Station, that is also located on the site..

So the conversations are still taking place between The National Grid, Wolverhampton Homes, and City of Wolverhampton Council. I will continue to keep you updated on any progress that is made.

School ‘Spiders’ Sparks Intruder Alarm!

There is a real concern from residents living close to Coppice High School, as the intruder alarms at the school have been for a number of months last year, activating in the late night/early hours of the morning.

I had reported the neighbour concerns during 2023 to the school, and they were very reactive and initiated a number of steps with their alarm company to redress the problems.

Sadly there has been an issue in the start of this year, where early morning activation by ‘spiders’ has caused the alarm to ‘sound-off’ at 1am.This has disturbed residents sleep.

The School is trying its hardest to deal with the problem. I thought that the neighbours should be aware that the issue is not being ignored. Hence the information that is on this social media site. Any changes to the position will be reported here.

Councillor Report – ASB on 59 Bus Route

“Anti-Social Behaviour and more, is the Bain of West Midlands Cities and Towns” said Councillor Phil Bateman of Wednesfield North.
He went onto say “Its not just an issue here in Wolverhampton, but when it occurs on public transport, it is serious and dangerous, and the Authorities and local Police with other public transport agencies working in partnership, become the best way forward to deal with the matter.
At the end of last year we had started to receive reports from bus users that ASB and assault was taking place on the 59 bus route, that links Wednesfield with Wolverhampton.
Today at a Safer Wolverhampton Partnership meeting. I released information from TfWM about the way that the complaints had been handled.”

TfWM had written to me saying “Thank you for continuing to shine a light on the issues being experienced by passengers of the 59 bus route on a weekly basis. I know you have personally worked diligently for many years to help build a safe and reliable transport network, so I can appreciate how worrying these reports must be.”

TfWM continued that ” that many incidents have been reported to you with each of these being shared with our Safer Travel Team, National Express West Midlands and neighbourhood police teams.
TfWM has dedicated further resources to patrolling the 59 route leading to the identification of a youth most commonly involved in these abhorrent attacks. Taking a wider view of the 59 service, our Transport Safety Officers and Safer Travel Police Team have seen a reduction of incidents since their regular patrols began. In November, 9 reports had been identified to relate to the 59 service and its route however, we have seen this fall to just 3 in December 2023. Their patrols mirror the times that have been reported and will continue to evolve alongside any further reports we receive. To date, four other youths have been identified using CCTV and the Neighbourhood Police team have visited them and their parents at their homes to discuss their antisocial behaviour. 1 was issued with a first stage warning with the remaining 3 being issued ASB advisory letters. This was achieved thanks to the coordinated efforts of the Safer Travel Team, the bus operator National Express West Midlands and the Neighbourhood Police Team.
I hope that this update assures you and passengers that TfWM is actively working with partners to tackle this kind of behaviour which will not be tolerated. We will continue to monitor the levels of antisocial behaviour and should you receive any further reports, please do not hesitate to contact us again.”

Councillor Bateman added – “All three of your City Councillors Mary , Rita and myself, work hard with all these agencies to ensure that we do all we can to help our Ward develop safe effective. and efficient public transport services. We know its hard for bus passengers when their bus services don’t turn up, or when they are delayed by bad behaviour and worse.
This particular issue has been difficult, but there are some positive actions that come of it. Transport for West Midlands report that there has been a reduced number of incidents since the actions started. My hope that these police actions with partners will help to deliver safer bus services for users and residents.”

The meeting took place today in The Hub at Ashmore Park, Griffiths Drive Ashmore|Park.

So What Is The Anglican Church Doing To Fill Its Vicars Vacancies?

The facts are that churches and vicars play an important role not only by providing inspirational spiritual guidance to those religious individuals. But, the Church buildings and the staff and volunteers that do so much to keep the Church estate in good working order often play a key role in the wider community activity.

The Church estate often provides meeting rooms, sport venues, etc. Weakening the leadership chains of communities by not replacing Vicars in Posts, is a dire blow that can be seen as nothing short of a crisis in the communities that make up our City, and the settlements that nestle closely to us.

Since I wrote about Wednesfield’s Parish Church. I have been informed that there is no full time Vicars in place at Essington, St Marys Bushbury, Holy Trinity in Short Heath, St Leonards in Bilston.

You may know more?

Plus, there is a temporary Bishop standing in for the Vacant seat of The Bishop of Wolverhampton. That role is being filled by The Bishop of The Falklands. I know that there are concerns in the congregations of these Churches. But there is also concerns outside of the Church as I have described here. I am sure the Anglican Church must have a plan going forward? It would be good to hear it.

Blackham Road – Non Residential Assets Demolition?

City Council are giving consideration to commencing a city-wide review of the non-residential assets and a small number of residential assets to determine the future management of these assets.

Your Wednesfield North City Councillors have been asked for our views before binding and lasting decisions are made, about a disused former Garage site in Blackham Road on Ashmore Park.


For the garage site at Blackham Road the proposed solution being given consideration is to demolish garages, remove foundations and secure site. This site could be considered for a potential HRA residential redevelopment sometime in the future.

Your Councillors Rita Phil and Mary would like to hear your views over the next few days. We need those thoughts that you may have before the 9th of .January 2024

Local residents views would be most welcome –

Councillor Calls on Anglican Church to Appoint a Fulltime Vicar to the Parish Church of Wednesfield.

Recently I wrote to the Lord Bishop of Lichfield about the failure of the Church to appoint a full time Parish Priest to the Parish Church of Wednesfield. I made it clear that many of the Parishioners were concerned with the delay. I also made it clear that not having such an important position within the Church Community filled. Was doing much damage to the Church, and the role it plays at the heart of the greater community. Not only was the spiritual offer diluted by no Parish Priest, but also the social role was very much weakened.

I thought that Wednesfield residents may have been interested in the response I received. Here it is re-printed in full. Written on behalf of The Lord Bishop of Lichfield, from the Bishop of The Falklands, whom he asked to respond to my correspondence.

Here is the response.
“Dear Councillor Bateman, The Bishop of Lichfield has passed your email on to me to respond, which I am glad to do.
The diocese as a whole shares your frustration about the difficulty in filling this vacancy. Far from hindering the appointment of a parish priest, we have worked with the parish to advertise the post five times, but so far we have received no applicants. This is I’m afraid an extreme example of a problem across the whole Church, where there are presently more posts available than there are priests to fill them.
I can only agree with you about the negative effects of the absence of an incumbent, and I can assure you that the diocese remains committed to ministry in inner urban areas. We remain hopeful that the right person will be found to fill this post, and others which are at the moment without a priest, but it is becoming a more and more difficult process at the present time.
The previous substantive Bishop of Wolverhampton retired at Easter this year, and the process for a new appointment will begin in January. I have been serving as Acting Bishop since September and will continue until Easter next year, by which time I hope a new appointment will be on the horizon.
Thank you for writing to Bishop Michael; it is an encouragement to know that the Church is valued as an integral part of the social fabric of the City. I hope we will find a good candidate who will be able to serve the people of your wares and the parish.
With all best wishes +Jonathan
Rt Revd Jonathan Clark,
Bishop for the Falkland Islands
Acting Bishop of Wolverhampton, Diocese of Lichfield.

Councillor Bateman added “Since I wrote the initial letter I am surprised at the number of Parish Churches here in Wolverhampton that are also in the same situation in this City and its bordering Parishes, with no full time vicars.

Be Prepared Wednesfield -Storm Henk is About to Arrive!

Councillor Phil Bateman said today ” Wednesfield North Councillors want you to be prepared for the next Atlantic Storm which will hit Wednesfield later today! Mary Rita and I, have just received the following notice. It relates to the 8th Named Storm – this one is Storm Henk.”

We are just dropping you an email to update you on the latest weather forecast in light of Storm Henk expected to impact the UK today. Yellow Weather Warnings for both Wind and Rain have been issued for the area until 21:00hrs this evening, Tuesday 2nd January. There are also two flood alerts currently in place by the Environment Agency that could impact on Wolverhampton for the River Sow and River Penk, and Upper Tame.

Snapshot taken from our Met Office Advisor (02 Jan):

HEADLINE: Strong winds across the south of the Midlands, further rainfall across the West Midlands.
An unsettled start to 2024 as the next area of low pressure to influence the UK has been named by the Met Office as Storm Henk and is set to bring a swathe of strong winds across parts of the South-West, south Midlands and East Anglia before moving into the North Sea this evening. It will also be wet with some further rain spreading north-eastwards across the region during the course of the day and this is falling on saturated ground and likely to exacerbate the river and flooding situation. The south to south-westerly winds may gust up to 50-60mph for a short time this afternoon, isolated 60-70mph over exposed parts of far southern Worcestershire and Warwickshire, before veering to the west and easing later in the evening. A separate wind warning covers more northern areas of the West Midlands with gusts of 40-50mph more likely. 15-30mm of rain could fall during the course of Tuesday, this heavy ran falling on saturated ground and likely to cause some travel disruption and a Yellow Rain warning covers the West Midlands.

January -Start of the New Year 2024.

Good Morning Wednesfield. Its the start of a new year. Mary and I want to wish you well in the coming year of 2024. We offer you our warmth and good wishes and we hope that health wealth and happiness visit you over the next 12 months.
I know many of you, like our own family will have suffered family bereavement during 2023. I do so hope that 2024 will dissipate that pain and as time moves on, the sadness and personal disruption you are feeling now, over time will lessen, leaving just the great memories and warmth of feeling to remember and cherish.
A New Year always offers hope. This one is just the same. The year ahead will bring many challenges and many opportunities for individuals, and our communities.
We are facing change as the World itself changes. The Wars in the Ukraine and the huge disruption and loss of life in Gaza and Israel points to the ever increasing dangers that continues to unfold.
Today New Years Day, as if to underline the uncertainties that we all face in our lives. We are hearing about the huge 7.6 magnitude earthquake that has struck Japan, and the warnings of a Tsunami, in Japan, Russia and South Korea.
Plus, our Government have today warned that they may be about to strike South Yemen .Nothing stands still, nothing stays the same.
There is for your Councillors huge issues to face up to this year, as there is every year. There is also likely to be a General Election here in the UK.
That will bring change, and that will be a welcome event for many in our Community and further a field. We already have our Labour Party General Election candidate for Wednesfield and Willenhall in the Wolverhampton North East constituency. Sureena Brackenridge already selected and in the election campaign out and about meeting residents.
Also in this year we will be facing a Municipal Election on the first Thursday in May. I can inform you this morning that the Wednesfield North Labour Party have already chosen our Candidate for this local election. The Labour Party will be announcing the City election candidates for this important City Council elections in due course.
Local Government really matters and the big decisions facing our City Council will be all around finance, the setting of Council tax, and the maintenance of all our front line services. Our current Government have been poor with regards to the resources it has supported our City and Local Government as a whole with over the last thirteen years.
The Citizens Advice has reported record numbers of people seeking help across the Country, from homeless services, foodbanks and energy bill support in 2023. Some pretty uncomfortable reading for Local Government again as a whole is the information that 600 people leave prison every month in the UK, and fall straight into hopelessness. Prisoners released without homeless help, just puts them back onto the crime trail and a fast route back to prison.
These are all major challenges. Welfare, Public services, a poor economy, cost of living and low growth will all be on the agenda in Councils across the Country. Happy New Year Wednesfield, and all our friends and relatives -You enhance our lives and you enrich our soul. Both Mary and I will try hard to continue to serve during 2024.